If you build it, they will come. Until you try to sell it. And then they will stay away. This is a lesson being learned by Don and Becky Lansing, the owners of farm, and baseball field, made popular by the movie, "Field of Dreams."
After caring for the legendary diamond since 1989, and welcoming over one million people to their farm in Dyersville, Iowa since the movie's release, the Lansings have decided that their time has come to an end, and it's someone else's turn to watch after the field. "It's like being a baseball player; when your time is up, it's up." Only problem: no one's interested.
Folks around Dyersville think the sale price is strictly Hollywood.
"We as the locals were kind of shocked that was the price they put on that,'' says Dyersville's mayor, James Heavens. "As a farm ground that land would be worth $7,000 an acre. But there is a spiritual connection to that place. It's very well maintained. Maybe they'll get $5.4 million from somebody. If they can get that, God bless 'em.''
Another likely drawback for potential buyers: there is not a lot of money to be made. The Lansings have never charged fees for admission or parking, and to this day, Don still maintains the field, to the point that "If he sees a weed, he gets down on his hands and creaky knees and removes it."
"There is something here that allows people the connection to a higher sense of existence,'' says Becky. "I'm hoping that somebody who feels the same way I do buys it and keeps it exactly the same.'' [...]
On May 5, 1989, a man from New York drove cross-country to the site and wept at home plate. He insisted on giving Lansing a New York Giants baseball cap. And the visitors increased each year, leveling off at 65,000 people annually.
It is likely those stories will be the only reward (and payment) for whomever decides to buy a $5.4 million baseball field. Or at least one of the best places to hold weekend barbecues and backyard softball games.